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It’s a love tune says Chutney Soca king
Chutney Soca Monarch Rikki Jai (Samraj Jaimungal), who won the title for the sixth time on Saturday night, has defended his winning song, White Oak and Water, insisting it is a love song, not a rum song.
When the veteran entertainer was announced as the winner of the competition at Skinner Park, there was a mixed response of cheers and boos. Later, sections of the crowd threw missiles on stage after Ravi B, who placed second, instructed them to “pelt something” if they were dissatisfied with the results.
Ravi B has since apologised for his “irresponsible” behaviour. In an interview with the T&T Guardian yesterday, Jai said he definitely deserved to win. “I did what I had to do and at the end of the day the people’s voice is the voice of God,” he said. Jai said people needed to listen to the song in its entirety, instead of focusing on the chorus.
He explained that in the Hindu tradition the bride’s family has to give the groom’s family a dowry. In his song, the bride’s father is a former Caroni worker and has no money, so he offers his son-in-law a drink of White Oak and water to seal the marriage. Although admitting that Angostura did feature him in a full-page White Oak advertisement, he denied that he had entered into a contract with the company.
“It was a more of wishing me well advertisement,” he said. Now that he has won the title six times, Jai said he would no longer compete in the Chutney Soca Monarch arena and would now focus his efforts on the National Calypso Monarch Competition.
Jai, who made his soca debut in 1988 with the hit single Sumintra, wasted no time in sounding a warning to all 2012 contenders. “From next year look out, Rikki Jai is coming to town,” he declared. Jai said music was his heart and soul and all his life he had dreamed of winning the Calypso Monarch. The father of two boys said he had not yet decided what to do with his $2 million prize. He is of the view that once the economy could sustain it, the Government should leave $2 million as the Chutney Monarch first prize and increase the value of the other prizes.
Ravi B apologises
Dethroned chutney soca star Ravi B, who encouraged members of the audience to throw missiles on stage to show their dissatisfaction with the results of the Chutney Soca Monarch competition, yesterday issued a written apology for his behaviour. The full text of his apology follows: “To my supporters, well-wishers and the public, and in particular to Mr George Singh as the promoter and producer of Chutney Soca Monarch, I am sorry for my irresponsible actions on Saturday night. “I apologise whole-heartedly for acting unprofessional. I obviously let my disappointment and my emotions get the better of me. This was a mistake. “I know that my action caused disappointment to many who support me and admire my career, including my family. I am sorry.
“This is one of the lessons I have learnt and I can add to my experience as I face the challenges and disappointments in life. “Again, to my fans, supporters and my family, I am sorry. It was a careless mistake that I will not repeat. I was not thinking and I acted in a manner that I am ashamed of. “I ask the young people who witnessed what happened to ignore it and forget it since this is not the way to react to disappointment. Instead be grateful for all you have. I am thankful to be alive and have the chance to perform because that is my real passion. “I apologise to the organisers of Chutney Soca Monarch. Your commitment to our local culture continues to be an inspiration to me and others like myself. “To my industry colleagues, I am sorry. Our industry needs to maintain a high level of professionalism to gain the respect of the public and those we entertain. “I hope that in time this will be put to rest. I am very sorry.”
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